RE: Papers critical of memetics

Richard Brodie (
Sat, 6 Feb 1999 00:08:52 -0800

From: "Richard Brodie" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Papers critical of memetics
Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 00:08:52 -0800
In-Reply-To: <>

Aaron Lynch wrote:

<<Going too far to suit America's
scientifically illiterate masses provokes immune reactions in the more
scientifically literate segments of society. That, in turn, delays funding
and interest in the empirical research. >>

Two questions:

1) How is it "going too far" to say that memes are the basic building blocks
of culture? Isn't that what Dawkins intended when he invented the term?
2) I've read you write about memetic immune reactions several times. Do you
have any evidence to support this theory? Kuhn's model of scientific
revolution would predict a reaction, but then predict progress through
stages toward acceptance. You speak of reaction as if it is an undesirable

<<I would recommend presenting a more formal definition, or perhaps both a
formal and a semi-formal definition, even if it loses some readers at low
levels of science education. >>

Good idea...I will implement it when I revise and extend the FAQ.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme"
Free newsletter! Visit Meme Central at

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)